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Sunday, 14 December 2014

How to Grow Strawberry the Easy and Profitable Way

If your land is idle or is under any other crop. Then you’ve lost millions of shillings. Today I want to tell you, how profitable strawberry farming is in Kenya.

Should you start growing the crop immediately; hopefully you will CUT DOWN on some of your losses. So the urgency of your response matters so much…

IMG_4480 Strawberry farming will buy you those million shilling houses that are advertised on Sunday evening television.
If you already have a house, it could buy you a Prado from one of those yards along Mombasa road.

 Paying your for your child’s education or mortgage shouldn’t be stressing- IF you grow strawberry. But wait…

One thing you need to know. The information you find here, is not available elsewhere. In fact farmers who are already earning big money from strawberry farming would rather shut up, that share this SECRET!

Today, I’ll help you dissect all the secrets of strawberry farming. So you can earn from strawberry— the easy and profitable way.

“Could this be true?” Hmmmmm…

Dear hardworking farmer,

Farmers in Kenya are growing strawberry, and are smiling all the way to the bank. What about you? You know how much work and money you put into your farm.

Therefore, you too— deserve all the riches that come from the soil. But you need knowledge on how to do that. Unfortunately, this knowledge is rare. And most farmers would rather die than reveal this secret to you.

You need to know how much capital is required to start strawberry farming, the market for strawberry, if it’s a good investment, where to find the correct planting material and whether your area is suitable for the crop.

Here below are some testimonials of farmers making HARD COLD CASH from strawberry.

Of all crops that I grow, strawberry is my biggest pride and joy. I produce and sell seedlings to other farmers in Nyeri and Karatina. Not only does the crop draw high value locally, but there exists a rich export market for well grown strawberries.

Robert Kararu

Title of report: The rick pickings in strawberry farming

Source: Standard digital Nov 5, 2013.

The demand of strawberry outstrips supply. One grocery asked us for 200 punnets [packets] per week, another wants 50 Kg per week, and a yoghurt manufacturing company wants 300 punnets per week…

We are not able to supply all the orders we receive on our own. Roughly we make as much as 100,000 shillings per week from this venture.

William Njoroge, and his brother Robert Gitau

Source: people daily.co.ke June 19, 2014

Last time I was looking for fresh strawberries in Nairobi, it was a bit of headache.

Seraah

If you get fresh strawberry, they are pricey. Supermarkets package them in ¼ kg packs that sell for KES 250.

Nicky Thompson

Here is why strawberry COULD MAKE YOU RICH…

  • You can earn in two ways from the crop simultaneously; from selling the fruits, and selling the runners. This is because propagation of strawberry is through runners. One runner can sell for KES 15/=.
  • An acre of strawberry can produce over 100,000 runners in a year. That means runners alone have the potential of generating over 1.5 million in a year for you.
  • The crop is easy to grow; you can make profit even from small spaces of land.
  • The crop has a long lifespan. It can live for 3-5 years and produce fruits and runners for you if well maintained.
  • The crop is easy to grow; you don’t need expensive equipment to harvest it- all you need is a hoe and your hands.
  • The market demand for strawberry fruits is so high, while the market supply is at bottom…
  • You harvest your fruit within 30-40 days after plants have flowered. Unlike in avocado where you have to wait for 5-7 months, mango 4-5months, and passion fruit 3-4 months.
  • You can harvest 3 times in a year unlike other fruits that can be harvested once— at most twice.
  • One kilo of strawberry fetches you KES 400/=
  • The plant can grow in various soils form sandy loam to clay.
  • Doctors are recommending their diabetes and high blood pressure patients to eat strawberry. The strawberry high levels of potassium and magnesium help to regulate blood pressure and help promote nutrient function. The magnesium content also relaxes nerves and muscles and keeps blood circulating smoothly. This is a new and growing market for strawberry grower
  • Strawberry is richer in vitamin c than citrus fruit. The very high content of vitamin C supplies 160% of daily requirement in one serving of 147 Gms of this fruit.
  • You can earn over 3 million shillings a year from an acre of STRAWBERRY THE EASY WAY. You won’t have to apply for a loan to get that amount of money. All you’ll need is to invest a few thousands, labor, time, some marketing and you’ll get the money PAP!!!

So, which strawberry variety is suitable for you?

I would recommend you grow Chandler. This variety was bred by the University of California, and it produces medium sized fruits of between 20-30 grams. Below, is a photo I took at the NAIROBI INTERNATIONAL SHOW of the strawberry variety.Strawberry, Chandler variety

Why chandler?

You can produce 3 harvests per year from a single plant. The plant produces big, sweet fruits that will sell like hot cake once you harvest.

The variety is easy to grow; you can never go wrong…

Where do you get this variety?

You can get this variety from the many contacts across the internet, or a farmer near you. One question you need to ask yourself, “Would the advice he gives you enable you exploit the potential of the crop fully?”

Here’s a fact that you may not know about strawberry…

Did you know a hectare can produce 57.7 tons strawberry? Yes! Cyprus is doing it. USA follows closely with 56.1 tons. You may say, “Those are developed countries.”

Here’s another fact about strawberry “Kenya has the best weather for strawberry, so we should harvest more per hectare.”

Here is my 50 cent piece of advice, “Buy strawberry runners from an expert.”

This is because there are over 30 varieties in Kenya. A first time grower would not be able to distinguish- one from another.

THAT’S WHERE I COME IN. I will show you the chandler variety. My runners have proven yield potential, and are free of diseases. IF you purchase from elsewhere, you could be left on your own to try your luck, or get a wrong variety.

Surely, that’s a bad place to be…

Yet you’d want someone to guide you- Who, is a phone call away and who’d be willing to visit your farm.

Who’s ready to teach you: How to control diseases, the right fertilizers to use, when and how to harvest. So that you can succeed in every way!

Further, I am a graduate of Horticulture from Egerton University, not to mention the many years of field practice under my belt.

How much will these cost me?

Well one runner costs 15 shillings. That means 5,000 runners will cost you KES 75,000 shillings. But consider this as an investment. In a number of months you will start earning revenue, and this can go on for 3-5 years. These 5,000 runners will cover an area of 20 M X 20 M.

Here is the value that you will receive after placing an order of 5,000 runners

  • Free technical advice on the type of fungicides, pesticides and fertilizers to use. 
  • A free PRODUCTION MANUAL worth KES. 1,000 showing you a step by step process of fertilizer application, pest control, when and how to harvest.
  • A free KNAPSACK SPRAYER worth KES. 2,500
  • A free 2 MONTHS SUPPLY of carefully selected FOLIAR FEED worth KES. 5,000 that will ensure rapid development of roots immediately after transplanting. The foliar feeds supply the most needed but deficient minerals in most soils in Kenya.
  • A 20 kg bag of specially formulated HIGH POTASSIUM FERTILIZER worth KES 5,500. This fertilizer enhances fruit development. You will never find this fertilizer in any ORDINARY agro-vet shop around the country as it is imported from Israel. In fact, and this is a ‘SECRET’- this fertilizer is what will make you get amazing returns from your strawberry farm.

How much yield should I expect from the 5,000 runners?

You can harvest up to 1-2 tons from that space. But that will depend on a number of factors. Like are you using the correct fertilizer, how is the weather, are you doing some irrigation etc.

One kilo goes for 400 shillings. That means you can sell up to 400,000 shilling. If you remove your expenses form this amount, you could remain with as much as 250 K or more.

 

Contact me today for your order!!

Call

Haron Mogeni

0715-609418

PS: Don’t let this opportunity slip away from your hands…

PPS: You have all it takes earn these amazing amounts of money from strawberry. PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY!!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRY, CONTINUE READING…

Conditions a favoring the growth of strawberry

Strawberries must be exposed to full sun, and a uniform temperature of 20-30 degrees. They need protection from wind as winds dry fruit and plants during the growing season.

The plant can grow in various soils form sandy loam to clay. Strawberry will respond positively to high organic matter content in the soil.

Strawberry prefers slightly acidic soil with a ph of 5.5-6.5.

Where not to grow strawberry.

You should not grow where the following crops have been planted before. Strawberries, potatoes, beans, carrots, peppers, okra, eggplants, alfalfa, vine crops , have grown as certain diseases and insect pests , fungal diseases like black rot, verticilium wilt. Also avoid sites which have been infested with sedge, nut grass, quack grass, Johnson grass.

How to plant strawberry

You plant strawberries in holes big enough to slightly spread the roots out. And deep enough to bring the soil halfway up the crown. Make sure the crown is above the soil.

Management of runners.

Position the runners with about 15 cm spacing between them. Only allow a few runners per plant, then remove additional runners to promote crown growth.

The width of each bed should be limited to 60 cm to maintain easy access in the planting. Runner plants that grow outside the 60 cm should be pruned back into the bed to root, or be removed if the plants become too crowded.

The runners can be positioned into the desired row width before they root and held in place with small stones, clumps of soil or hair pins.

Soon after planting, the crowns will produce a few leaves and flower buds. During the planting year, all flowers should be removed. This will encourage the growth runners and plant vigor.

The runners will be able to fill out the bed, leading to better yields the following year.

Spacing

Mother plants are 45cm apart in rows of 1 meter  Daughter plants are spaced to root no closer than 4 inches apart. All other runners are pulled out or cut from mother plants.

The roots grow following a fixed pattern of three new roots emerging from each side of the base of leaf. Generally there are 20-35 primary active roots.

The root system is located mainly in the upper 20 cm layer of soil. The root system is shallow, with 80-90% in the top 15 cm.

A primary root lives for one year and is replaced by newer roots as new leaves are formed at successive higher levels of the crown. Fertility, water supply and aeration at soil depths greater than 15 cm are a major concern.

Placing 2-3 cm of soil layer over plant bed after harvest will enhance new root formation and make plant less vulnerable to cold and drought.

Fertilization

After the first harvest, in the second season, strawberries should be fertilized after rejuvenation . Water the fertilizer to get down to the root zone. This application is made in a vigorous condition and to promote new growth and thus development of these new fruit buds.

Harvesting

Berries ripen 28-30 days after they bloom. The time between first blooms to full bloom can be 11-12 days. A great increase in the number of ripe fruit occurs over a period of first 4-6 days of harvest.

Berries are harvested every other day under normal temperature for about 6-7 pickings.

Avoid picking the fruit when the plants are wet. Keep harvested berries out of the sun and place them under refrigeration as soon as possible.

Pick berries when they are fully colored for optimal size and flavor. Berries do not improve in quality after picking.

Harvested berries should be sold and delivered within 24 hours to avoid spoilage. About six pickers can harvest an acre of berries or 10,000 pounds over the season.

An average picker can harvest 10 quarts per hour over the entire season. Under excellent conditions up to 175 quarts may be harvested by an average picker.

Hand pick berries daily and pick all berries that are ripe. Toss out moldy berries to prevent rots from spreading.

Strawberry production can go on for 3-5 years if plants are vigorous bed is weed free and the planting is properly renewed every year.

Strawberry plants tend to be infected with leaf diseases which may result to declining yields if not treated timely.

To prevent overcrowding of plants reduce incidence of leaf diseases then plants to 5-7 plants per 30 cm to 30 cm , next spread a light 1-2 cm layer over remaining plants do not burry the crowns.

Place your order today!!

Call Haron Mogeni

0715-609418

PS: Time and opportunity happens to all, it’s only the brave who make use of every opportunity.

PPS: Opportunities tend to slip from people’s hands if not exploited immediately. Place your order today!!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

How to grow spinach the easy and profitable way

Dear farmer,

You can earn 250,000 shillings per month growing spinach on one acre. Yes! This is very possible. Here is a little story of a multinational company with interests in agriculture all over the world.

That company is Unilever. Spinach contributes 28% of Unilever key crops. Tea contributes 16%; peas 13% while tomatoes and palm oil contribute 7% respectively.

One thing I do know, the big boys like Unilever know where the money is. It is nowhere else other than the production and processing of spinach.

Growing spinach is a golden goose, often misunderstood. Once you discover its secret, it will lay golden eggs for you — FOR A LONG-LONG TIME.

IF you are searching for fresh ideas that will help you earn more…

THEN, read on. After reading this article, you will realize spinach production is VERY-VERY profitable.

Your bank account will overflow with money. Raising school fees will be easy like rowing downstream. In fact your neighbors will be green with envy as they see you drive the latest Toyota model.

They will wonder as you drive past them, the source of your new found wealth.

If only they knew your secret…

Here are experiences of organizations and people earning a living from spinach.

After retiring from service in 1985, I ventured into poultry farming. My 12,000 broilers died in 1997 and left me desolate. I pooled resources and planted spinach on an eighth of my land as spinach grows very fast. In a short time, I started selling the vegetables. In a month, I earn up to 60,000 shilling from 1/8 acre

Major retired Francis Mutua Ndolo

Landless estate, Kiambu County

Spinach is one of the key crops that Unilever is testing under its sustainable agriculture initiative.

Growing for the future

Spinach: for a sustainable future, Unilever.

One acre of spinach yields 6 tons#Kenyans4Kenya project in #Moyale 64 acres on drip irrigation

A tweet by The Kenya red cross

Here are some basic facts why spinach is increasingly becoming popular.

According to Dutch scientists from the University of Leiden, spinach contains tyrosine an amino acid that stimulates the production of dopaline a hormone enhancing mental abilities. The basis of Steve Jobs success was he ate foods rich in tyrosine like spinach, bananas almonds and peaches.

Source: fresh plaza.com

Spinach is rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A.

So, what is the key to successful spinach production?

Here is what John Navazio an agricultural consultant says:

“To appreciate why spinach misbehaves, one must recognize the plants humble origins. It is a cool season crop originally grown in fall and winter in the Middle East.”

To grow spinach profitably you must understand its likes and dislikes. Spinach is a cool season crop. Temperatures above 27 degrees can retard its growth.

Second, spinach does not like an acidic soil. It prefers a soil with a PH of 6-7.5

It also requires light showers accompanied by periods of sunlight. Heavy rains lead to attack of spinach by downy mildew disease.

That is why there is a shortage of spinach in the months of April through May and October through December in Kenya. This is because spinach is devastated by downy mildew, a disease prevalent during the rainy season. downy mildew in spinach1

Downy mildew disease is very difficult to control once your spinach is attacked. This results to a biting spinach shortage during the above said months.

downy mildew in spinach 2

So, how can you take advantage of the weakness of spinach and earn good money from it?

FACT: Selling the vegetable in the months of shortage earns more. Therefore, you must time production to match peak market and shortage. To do this, establish your nursery at MID March for long rains season and MID October for short rains season.

Doing that ensures that the spinach is at the nursery in the time of heaviest rainfall. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting when the rain is subsiding. And will reach maturity when the rain is almost ending.

The reason why it’s best to establish a nursery during the rainy season is “you can easily control diseases in the nursery”

At the nursery, you can easily monitor diseases and spray suitable fungicides regularly.

Cover the nursery with a plastic sheet to avoid the plants getting excessive rain and avoid an attack by downy mildew disease.

Further, the nursery acts as storehouse of your spinach plants. They await there for the opportune time for transplanting.

Avoid growing spinach in low lying areas that are prone to flooding as flooding increases the incidence of disease.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

From thousands to millions: How to grow Mangoes for income during retirement

Let me show you how an investment of 200,000 shillings in growing mango trees today on one hectare of land, will yield you Ksh 3,918,000 in eight years.
Show me any pension plan whose returns can beat that! I bet they’re very few, or none. Yet, what I am going to show you is real, and is backed up with fact, and figures from credentialed sources.
Don’t you want such an attractive returns from a low risk, high profit investment? Right NOW, I want to show you a Step-By-Step plan on how to achieve that— from the farm you have in your village.
You don’t need to worry about having a huge piece of land. You can start growing mangoes on the land you have.
This is why...
A tree can yield up to 1,000 fruits in a year. If you sell every fruit for 17 shillings, you will earn  One tree will earn you Ksh 17,000 in a year.
If your land can accommodate 5 trees, you will earn Ksh 85,000 every year for 30 years (30 years is the life expectancy of the tree) stress free!
This money may seem little if you only have five trees, but you can increase its value by purchasing a grade cow, chicken, or buying goats that will multiply the money when they give birth.
Or you can keep money for your child in a junior savings account for his school fees.
The money becomes sweeter if you have 200,300 or even 1,000 trees!
Interested?
Continue reading...  
From the desk of Haron Mogeni,
Professional horticulturist and Farm manager,
Kiambu prison farm.
Sweet mangoes
Dear farmer,
Getting high returns from your farm is a walk in the park if, you grow the right crop. This is because crops have a way of multiplying an investment by 100%, 200% or even 500% if you do the right thing, and they grow well.
Today I want to show you the shortcut to such unimaginable returns by showing you how to WORK SMART with mango trees.
But, let us start by examining why growing mangoes can increase your investment by over 517% if given time and managed well. A study conducted by a leading research institution in Kenya confirmed that mangoes are popular very fruits.
They found out over 50% of the residents of Nairobi and other towns buy mangoes when they are in season. Furthermore, the research showed mangoes are in high demand in Europe, Middle East and in the Far East.
Also, the population of Kenya is growing by 1 million every year. By the time the mangoes you grow today, will be in peak production, the country have 8 million more people who’ll need them.
However, let not the occasional glut of mangoes experienced in the market worry you. It is only temporary. This is because the demand for vegetables and fruits is rising faster than supply, while production is stagnant.
Just few years ago, we used to have a glut of avocadoes. But, nowadays we don’t have any. The fruit has become a highly sought fruit because of increased demand in Europe and other parts of the world.
The knowledge I will show you RIGHT NOW on how to grow mangoes. I will show you who the customers are, and where to find high paying customers.
You’ll get the right information that will give you confidence, and the ability to generate massive returns from your mango farming business.
Here’s what other experts are saying about mangoes.
Mango is known as a king fruit for a good reason. It has unrivalled nutritive value and offers an opportunity for household wealth creation.
Josephat Mulindo research officer KARI Perkerra
In The Organic Farmer, issue# 85 June 2012
Mango is the second most popular fruit in Kenya followed by passion.
John Muchangi, The star in The most popular fruit and vegetable unveiled 29th April 2012
Over half of Nairobi consumers purchase mangoes in a month.
Tegemeo institute of agriculture and policy analysis,
Working paper # 16
Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is one of the high potential fruits in Kenya, suitable for different agro-ecological
zones ranging from sub-humid to semi-arid. Despite the still growing economic importance of mango in Kenya,
its production potential has not yet been fully exploited.

Kehlenbeck et al,
(World Agro forestry Centre ICRAF, Tree Genetic Resources and Domestication, Nairobi, Kenya) in  Mango cultivar diversity and its potential for improving mango productivity in Kenya
The mango industry in Kenya has expanded considerably over the years, not only in size but also in geographical location of commercial and homestead plantings. As a result of this expansion, the mango fruit is becoming popular with the local population
There is a great diversity of mango fruit type which permits considerable manipulation for various purposes and markets: juice, chutney, pickles, jam/jelly, fresh fruit, canned and/dried fruit etc.
Given the multiple products, it is therefore a potential source of foreign exchange for a developing country; it is also a source of employment for a considerable seasonal labor force.
Tony Simons,PhD
Principal Tree scientist
World Agroforestry Center














Prices of fruits are increasing around Kampala due to huge demand. Many traders around city markets are experiencing a shortage of mangoes, oranges, watermelon, pineapples, passion fruit and tangerines. Mangoes are becoming scarce each new day. That has led to importation from Kenya.
Ms. Lillian Tuhaise Fruit dealer, Nakasero Market Kampala.
There are many unexploited opportunities within Africa, which should be tapped. This is not surprising when out of the total remaining global arable land about 60% is in Africa. Population is also growing at a high rate and escalating food demand.
Sammy Kariuki, Tymax Agricultural solutions
The world trade in mangoes is stable and its production is growing. Countries in which production is still growing are Kenya, Egypt, and Vietnam.









Why invest in mango trees for retirement?

The age you plan to retire at, does not matter. What counts is “Do you have sufficient cash for a better lifestyle, or enough cash to sustain the lifestyle you had before retirement.”
Prior to retirement, you would be thinking of a source of income that will support you, month after month for years without getting dry. Therefore, you’ll need an investment that will yield you money without fail.
There are hundreds or even thousands of ways of investing your money, but today I want to discuss on how growing mangoes can be the best investment ever! But let me make it more juicer. Read the report below…
Kenya Agricultural Research institute (Kari) has brought in five mango varieties from the USA. These varieties include Haden, Tommy Atkins, Van dyke, Sensation and Kent. They yield 1000 to 1200 fruits per tree.
The Standard newspaper website, 31st March 2013
Kenyan farmers earn a fortune from mango
farming.

Now the market price of one mango fruit is KSh 15. So, if you grow these trees, you expect Ksh 15,000 to 18,000 per tree! Now multiply this by 120, which is the number of trees that you can grow in a hectare. That is a turnover of Ksh 2,948,000 per year.

Qualities of a good retirement plan

Now what are the qualities of a good requirement plan? Any retirement plan should be low to medium risk so that you don’t lose your money.
However, you still want to generate enough interest from a retirement investment so that you can beat inflation, and preserve the value of your savings.
To do that you need to have a right mix of investments. You can invest in real estate, buy shares, and even join a pension scheme.
If you are looking at farming crops as a way of creating value, then I am here to give you the right information and prepare you in every way.
The good news about growing crops is that you have 100% control over your investment. In other types of investments, other people make investment choices on your behalf. But, in growing crops in your farm, you decide the level of risk.

If I chose growing mangoes, how to I beat drought caused by climate change?

There is nothing better at tolerating dry weather like trees. They have long taproots, which go deep down into the soil to sip water. Trees are even found (palm trees) in deserts!
You are a witness; trees are often the last plants to die during dry weather, but they don’t go down without fighting a very long dry spells. Now, that makes the growing of trees a low risk, high profit investment.
So, there are about 3 tree crops that you could grow assure you of an income even during dry periods. These trees include macadamia, avocados and mangoes.
However, today let’s talk about the mango tree, whose fruit is regarded as the king fruit. Further, the tree has the ability to resist the driest weather and remain green.
For instance, this tree has never failed to produce fruit year after year even in dry weather, for the people of lower eastern Kenya, the coast region and the rift valley; areas that experience frequent drought.
In fact, during drought, people in these areas survive on the fruit as they wait for the weather to improve.
However, climate change has reduced the range of crops that could be suitable for that. Especially here, in Kenya, climate change has often devasted farmers.
But, that should not deter you from investing in farming. The fact that traffic accidents are on the increase does not deter you from driving or travelling. I am sure what you do is to take precaution.

What you need to succeed in mango growing

You need trees that are in production a proper marketing channel, and value addition strategies.
So how do you get to having trees that are in production? You need to grow mango seedlings in your farm and care for them until they start producing.
But, you just plant any seedlings. To maximize on the returns, reduce risk, there is a need to grow early, medium and late yielding varieties.

Now, let’s discuss the economics of mango production

One hectare accommodates 200 mango trees spaced at 8 M X 6 M. each plant covers an area of 40 M2 one tree can yield up to 1000-1200 fruits.
Here’s are some results of a study on appropriate plant spacing conducted in Brazil titled “Tommy Atkins mango trees subjected to high density planting in sub humid tropical in northeastern Brazil
“Treatments consisted of five spacial arrangements of plants (8x5 M, 6x3 M, 5x2 M, and 4x2 M which resulted in the following planting densities: 250(control), 357, 555, 1000 and 1250 plants per hectare. in general high density planting caused reduction in vegetative and reproductive variables of individual mango trees, but had little influence on fruit quality.

Above 555 plants per hectare, a significant decrease was observed in mango tree growth. furthermore there were decreases in the percentage of flowering, fruit yield per area. However,planting density up to 357 plants per hectare, increases fruit yield per area in comparison to the control (i.e. 250 plants per hectare)”
              Carlos Antônio et al
The research shows that you can grow up to 357 mango trees per hectare without affecting the quality of fruits. I would however recommend growing 200 trees per hectare so that you can reduce the  management costs of the orchard.
The Kenya agricultural institute (KARI) has brought in five of mango varieties from the USA. The varieties include Haden, Tommy Atkins, Van dyke, Sensation and Kent. They yield 1000 to 1200 fruits per tree.
The Standard, 31st March 2013
Kenyan farmers earn a fortune from mango
farming.





You may be thinking how can a single tree yield between 1000-1200 fruits. A tree normally produces fruit in twice in a year. that means it will produce between 500 to 600 fruits in a season.
Here is what a senior researcher is saying on when the mango trees get into production.
In the main production area, the Coast Province, two supply seasons can be differentiated. The first and main season runs from November to February and the second from June to August. In areas of higher altitude such as Murang'a and Mwea (Central Province), the harvest season is 4—6 weeks later than at the coast, with a peak in February and March.
Tony Simons,PhD
Principal Tree scientist
World Agroforestry Center


The characteristics of these varieties (grown for export) are listed below;
Valencia pride
This mid-season variety yields large, elongated fruits with good taste quality and excellent appearance. It is difficult to store and as such must be transported by air. This variety has a niche position on the export market

Keitt
The fruit is oval, longer and flatter lengthwise than Kent. Its weight is highly variable, ranging from 500 grams to 1 kg, which is a shortcoming for the export market. It is a late variety; the fruits are attractive with a variable blush depending on the exposure to sunlight.



Sensation
This variety, of unknown parentage, originates from Florida. The fruit is small to medium-sized (280-340 grams), deep red in color with a few spots of yellow. Its main quality is its relative tolerance to blackspot bacterial disease. This is a mid-season variety adapted to the cooler areas of the sub-tropical zone, e.g. some areas in South Africa.

Kent
The fruits reach maturity in the middle of the season. They are ovate, relatively large and generally weigh between 500 and 900 grams. The flesh is firm and has a pleasant taste. This mango matures very slowly and gradually.
Fruits that are harvested close to maturity can be stored for a long time at cool temperatures. The fruit's excellent sensory qualities, the firmness of its flesh and its gradual ripening are all equally attractive features to retailers.
Crop production protocol for mango (mangifera indica ) www.coleacp.org/pip


Here are some of the initial costs you are likely to incur when you decide to grow mangoes on one Hectare of land
Seedlings @ Ksh 200 x 200=
40,000
Plowing
12,000
Harrowing
9,000
2nd Harrowing (if was virgin land)
6,000
Irrigation
40,000
Making 200 planting holes and actual planting @ Ksh 100
20,000
Miscellaneous
40,000
Manure 2 lorries @ Ksh 4,000
8,000
Total
Ksh 172,000/=
 

Year Number of expected fruits per plant Income each fruit @Ksh15
a hectare has 200 plants
Cost of labor and other inputs like fungicides, weeding, pruning Net income Cumulative income
1
0
0
112,000
-112,000
-112,000
2
0
0
30,000
-30,000
-142,000
3
0
0
30,000
-30,000
-172,000
4
50
100,000
30,000
70,000
-102,000
5
200
400,000
100,000
300,000
198,000
6
300
900,000
100,000
800,000
998,000
7
400
1,200,000
200,000
1,000,000
1,998,000
8
700
2,100,000
230,000
1,920,000
3,918,000

Transplanting of seedlings

The seedlings flower 5-6 months after transplanting. Remove flowers for the seedlings are too weak and young to support fruit.
Mango production starts in year 3. The break-even point comes in the 5th year, but it could come earlier if the mango orchard is inter-cropped with maize or other crops.

Is my area suitable for growing mangoes?

Well, it depends on the altitude of your area, and the amount of rainfall received. Mangoes prefer areas of moderate rainfall coupled with a dry season. A period of drought is necessary to stimulate flowering. Here is what experts say about suitable areas of growing mangoes.
Suitable altitudes for growing mango is between 100-1000 meters above sea level
The mango tree’s phenological cycle is strongly influenced by weather conditions. For mango trees to flower there must be a marked halt in growth. This occurs when there’s of a drop in average temperatures and/or a marked dry period.
Crop production protocol for mango (mangifera indica ) www.coleacp.org/pip

Where do i get suitable mango seedlings?

Mango seedlings cost Ksh 200 each, but don’t worry of the price of the seedlings. A seedling has the potential to develop into a tree and yield you Ksh 18,000 year after year starting from the fifth year after transplanting for 30 years!
I have a number of seedlings in my nursery, but i can’t promise to have them beyond August 10TH. This is because the seedlings are in high demand, and and the timeliness of your response matters so much!

How to order for seedlings

First you call me, and inform me where you intend to grow the mango seedlings. This is really important because mangoes can grow well in specific areas. This info will help me determine if your agro-ecological zone is suitable for growing mangoes.
If your area is suitable, and you’re ready to place an order, we meet, and discuss mode of payment, the details of delivery and any other terms we agree on.

Here is what you will get if you buy seedlings from me

  • Free technical advice on how to transplant mango seedlings to your field
  • Free technical advice on how to maintain the tree
  • Guidance on how to control pests and diseases of mango trees
  • Show you how to time your production for the market so that your mangoes reach the market when their demand high
Contact Haron Mogeni
today on Tel # 0715609418
or
haronmogeni@gmail.com
Ps. Try growing mangoes today. Don’t let your farm lie idle yet it can mint you money. If you are able to sell the mangoes at 2 shillings more, you will see huge profits. Do the math for yourself.






















































Monday, 9 June 2014

Bad brokers, bad business: a story of conniving brokers at githurai 45 market

If you want to get more sales and more profit selling vegetables...
Then beware of the underhand dealings of brokers in fresh produce markets.
Let me teach you how to sell in fresh produce markets through brokers to the right clients, at the right price. What these customers need...
And the steps you need to take every day to succeed in selling fresh produce in markets around the Kenya.

Interested?
Continue reading...
Dear hardworking farmer,
Do you often find the prices offered for your produce being too low, for you to recover the costs of production?
You want to earn more from your hard work, so you desire to sell to the right people and at the right price.
But, you find yourself surrounded by fresh produce market brokers, who gang up to buy your produce at a low price.
However, how do you find the right people who are willing to pay you the true value of your produce?
Should you avoid selling in open-air markets like Gikomba, Marigiti, Wakulima, Githurai, Korogocho market, and focus on selling to supermarkets?
Here is what research institutions found out, on the purchasing habits of consumers in Nairobi and other parts of the country.
Consumers in Nairobi follow a shopping pattern that is highly diversified across food groups. When asked where they shopped for food during the previous month, over 90% indicated that they had purchased at least one food item in three or more types of retail outlets.
This pattern is quite stable across income groups.
Between 80-90% of households visited an open-air market, a traditional duka, or a shop. Focusing on fresh produce, 72% visited an open-air market, and 56% a kiosk. Only 6% made fresh produce purchases in a supermarket chain.
Working paper 16- Tegemeo institute of Agricultural policy and development


Small-scale vendors (Mama Mboga) control 97 per cent of the highly profitable fruit and vegetable business. Supermarkets only control three per cent of the sales, mainly because of supply problems.
Anna Mutahi, Director
TNS RMS East Africa


Fact: you cannot avoid selling your produce in the open-air markets because that’s where the buyers are. Unfortunately, these markets are under the control of brokers, and that’s why you need to know how to handle the brokers.
So how will you win this struggle? In a bid to find answers to farmers complaints, many universities, Ngo’s and community-based organizations, have recommended this solution...
“Grow what the market wants, not what you think they want.”

Growing what the market wants means that you are in control, and the market will be willing to buy at your price. Today I’ll tell you of how I did just that, and made sizzling profit. I want to sharpen you so that you may be a knowledgeable farmer.
Let’s start with the first thing that you need to know.
The best time to get your produce the market is when there is a biting shortage.
How do you do that?
You should research on the best time to produce. Remember this important point, “the changes of season affect the production of every crop, either positively or negatively.”
Aim to produce when the season has negatively affected the production of a crop.

Here is a little story of what my market research yielded

Having done research on the selling price of kale and spinach in various markets around the country, I found out, the veggies would sell at a profit in the months of September through November.
Therefore, I planted kale and spinach at the beginning of August 2013 with the intent of selling the produce during the said months.
“My timing was perfect,” because the research pointed to a pattern of scarcity of the vegetables during the said months for the last 10 years.
Thus, the likelihood of making profit, selling the vegetables in the said months was sky-high.

Impact of unexpected change of weather

Kenya always has cool weather in the months of June to August. The cool weather, favors the production of vegetables of the Brassica family like kale, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts among others.
The cool weather extended to the month of October. The unexpected weather change helped other farmers, and I who were growing brassicas.
The cool weather meant that I would do less irrigation than originally planned. The change of weather resulted in an unanticipated boom harvest of kale, cabbage and spinach during the months of September to November.
The usual dry weather from September to November was a trump card that I hoped to draw to make more sales, and I was very successful.
This meant my customers could not but everything my farm produced, because of the bumper crop. “I had to go back to the drawing board, and think of a better way of selling the excess veggies.”

Here’s the plan of selling the excess vegetables

“To sell, the excess vegetables at Githurai 45 market,” was my plan. I had never taken any produce to the market, but I convinced myself the market is a free market, where the freedom of entry and exit exists.
I consulted some traders who informed me, “All you need to sell in the market, to pack the vegetables in gunnysacks, put them in a pick-up and arrive there by 5:00 am.”

Meeting face to face with brokers

When I got to the market, some people, whom I thought were customers, surrounded me. They asked me inquiringly, “How much do you sell a kilo of the vegetables?”
They offered to pay 10/= shillings per kilo of kale or spinach, a price that was two times lower, than what my regular customers offer me.
I did a quick calculation and realized that, I would earn 10,000 shillings, enough to recover all my costs but would make no profit.
A choice had to be made. To sell at the price, and I leave the market early for home, or stay put, and wait for better paying customers.
I chose the latter.
I came to understand later, the people who wanted to buy my veggies were brokers, looking for a quick buck.

A big mistake by a newbie

One thing you need to know, most brokers spend a lot of time in the market daily as they looking for business. It is easy to know farmers who are new to the market.
In my naivety, I committed a terrible blunder of forgetting my weighing scales at home. “How would I confirm the weight of kale or spinach that I sold to customers?” that was my agony.
My lack of weighing scales gave brokers an opportunity to fleece me. Some brokers offered to buy my vegetables, at the price of Shs. 25/= per kilo, but they insisted that I use their weighing scales.
I was relieved...
Little did I know the scales were, thieving scales! Every time a kilo I weighed a kilo of vegetables, another kilo was lost. The scales would weigh 2 kilos instead of one. Though I was suspicious of the amount weighed, there was no way I could verify my suspicions.
That brings me to the big question of business ethics in the fresh produce marketing in Kenya. It is apparent that, the city and municipal councils have abdicated their authority to brokers who conspire to trick hard working farmers and genuine traders.
Back to my story, by the time I finished selling, it had made a modest profit of Kshs. 7,000/= I could have made more were it not for the thieving weighing scales.

Here’s a summary on how to beat market brokers

clip_image001Aim to produce crops at times of scarcity.
clip_image001[1]Try selling directly to kiosk owners and mama mbogas and restaurants/hotels.
clip_image001[2]Conduct a pre visit to the market, a week before taking your produce to the market so that you find out the price trends of the produce you intend to sell.
clip_image001[3]Always carry a weighing scale for your produce, one that you can rely on.

















































Sunday, 8 June 2014

How to make more profits from your farm by growing lavender

Let me teach you how to grow lavender, sell it to the right customers at the right price, what these customers need... and the steps you need to take every day to succeed in growing lavender in Kenya right now!

Interested?

Continue reading...

 

From the desk of Haron Mogeni,

Horticulturist and Farm manager,

Kiambu Prison farm

Dear hardworking farmer,

Are you searching for an alternative crop that is easy to manage, yields high profit, and is in high demand? You have always grown on your small farm crops like; maize, beans, kale, or potatoes yet the market prices of these crops don’t please you.

Welcome. You’ve landed at the right website. After hours of agonizing and backbreaking research, I have identified the perfect crop that is easy to manage, high in profit and demand.

It is a breakthrough opportunity and the timeliness of your response matters so much. After you complete reading this, you’d be left wondering why your farm is under other crops. In fact, you will lament how you’ve been losing huge profits.

You may be wondering if am qualified to make such a huge promise. Well, I am a graduate of horticulture from Egerton University. Currently a farm manager at Kiambu prison farm.

Therefore, What I’m telling you are not just stories, but things that I have done research on, and have practiced. Not to mention my 10 years experience in the agricultural field.

Farmers in Kenya and everywhere are finding it difficult to earn a living from their farm. This is because of the high costs of production and the stiff competition as they grow what everybody is growing.

Nevertheless, today I want to open your eyes and introduce you to a crop that people rarely consider. A kilo of its produce goes for Kenya shillings 3000/=. If you prefer counting your money in dollars, a kilo of its produce yields you $ 35.

This is the perfect crop for smallholder farms. You don’t need any experience to grow the crop. In fact, if you’ve ever grown any crop, then you are more than qualified to grow lavender.

All you need to know is how, to whom and where to sell this crop. But, don’t worry about that. By the time you finish reading this report, you will have all the skills needed to do just market lavender like a Guru.

Across Europe the demand for herbs is growing— in the UK, for example over the last decade there has been a large increase in people interested in home cookery and experimenting with culinary techniques and different cuisines, which has led to the demand for herbs.

The East African Fresh Produce Journal

Lavender is known to be one of the famous herbs with the fragrance of its dried flowers and from the oils refined from it. This is typically being use as perfumes, so growing lavender flowers, as a business is truly lucrative.

Start up biz hub

Question: I like growing herbs in my garden. Which do you recommend?

Answer: Lavender

Lavender has become increasingly popular as a herb for cooking and industry. The herb produces a perfume so admired that vast fields of lavender plants are grown in England, Provence, Tasmania and morocco to satisfy a worldwide demand for scented soaps, candles, skin lotions, and many products. A few sprigs clustered in a vase can fill an entire room with its romantic fragrance. Swirled in a bathtub, they will even scent the water.

Manjala Juluri, ASLA Landscape consultant and designer

 

First thing first: why grow lavender?

Lavender is a worthy crop to grow because of its perennial growing nature. This means its lifespan extends over 1 year. The implication of this is that you will harvest flowers year after year, without replanting it again.

Lavender plants can last for 10-15 years or longer if managed correctly.

K M Swanepoel and W G Alberts Department of Agriculture, University of Zululand

Second, lavender can grow over a wide range of altitude between 1000-1700 meters above sea level. The higher the altitude the better as the oil yields tend to increase with altitude. This is because the plant flowers more abundantly in cooler conditions.

Third, you will not worry about pests and diseases, which ravage most crops. However, the plant suffers from phytophora root rot if grown in poorly drained soils, or when overwatered. The plant grows well soils of low fertility.

Lavender ranks high as a sustainable crop because it does not rely on pesticides and fertilizers…

ATTRA

National sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Fourth, the selling price of lavender products is very high. To find the average prices of a kilo of dried lavender flowers, oil and fragrance, visit online shops like ebay, Amazon and Alibaba.

The prices range from $50-300, which in my opinion are enough to cover the cost of production and leave you with profit.

So, how and where do I start?

Start a nursery. Why do you need to start one? You are likely to face difficulties of getting sufficient planting for your farm. Therefore, you’ll need to multiply what you get.

Another reason for establishing a nursery is to save on costs. An acre requires 15,000-28,000 plants. Now let’s assume one seedling costs $2. That will mean on planting material alone you’ll have to spend $30,000- 56,000.

Establishing a nursery will allow you to save on costs of transport. This is because plant material is bulky in nature. Transporting the material for long distances will be expensive.

One more thing, the cost of planting material constitutes a great percentage of the overall cost of growing lavender. You also want to reduce the cost of planting material and the risk of loss. Thus multiplying your own planting material makes sense.

How to multiply your seedlings

Transplant the planting material you bought into a nursery. Allow it time say 3 months to establish itself, and become vigorous. You will need to take cuttings from the plants.

The best time to take cuttings from lavender is right after they have bloomed. Take cuttings from stems with no flower buds on them. Remove leaves from the bottom half of the cutting and insert it into well draining sterile potting soil or horticultural vermiculite.

Rooting hormone is not necessary. The cuttings should root in about 3 weeks. Transplant rooted cuttings into pots 2-4 inches in diameter. One the plants develop a vigorous root system transplant them to the farm.

Before transplanting the seedling into the farm, contact various restaurants, hotels, as they are the largest consumers of the herb.

Transplanting to the farm

Lavender is not competitive and does not respond well to weed pressure. Prepare the field during dry weather to kill all perennial weeds. You can apply pre-emergent herbicides so that the plants has a head start before weeds.

When planting (lavender agustifolia) or its cultivars, ensure planting material has been propagated vegetatively from cuttings, not started form seed so that you can have true to type plants.

When planting lavender as a crop, spacing depends on the size of the cultivars. Spacing ranges from 2-3 feet within the row and 3-6 feet between rows.

Pruning

Lavender flowers on new growth. Therefore, prune the plants every year after it is established. Pruning should take place when green leaves start to emerge from the base of the plant.

Remove approximately one third of the top. The plant responds well to pruning. Pruning keeps the plant from splitting and becoming too woody.

Harvesting

Harvest the lavender stems in the morning hours when the oils are most concentrated and when approximately 50% of the flower buds have opened. Use a sickle or pruning shears to cut stems as long as possible.

Form bundles of 50-100 stems and bind them with rubber bands. Rubber bands will contract when the stems dry out. Dry the harvested lavender in a cool dark place where there is good air circulation.

Yields of lavender

An acre of true lavender (lavender angustifolia) produces from 150 to 900 kg of dried flowers and about 10 to 20 liters essential oil.

Marketing of lavender

You can market lavender other products in many ways i.e. as dried or fresh flowers, or processed products. Find local buyers like; hotels, marketing agents and companies from chemical and pharmaceutical, as well as food and flavoring industries. Before you start any production, conduct research on the local market of your produce. You can use social networking sites like Linkenld, Facebook, Google plus and other online forum to reach buyers.

International buyers are divided into flavor and fragrance houses, cosmetics and personal health care, aromatherapy and food manufacturers who buy in large quantities.

The major market in the world for essential oils is the United States, followed by Japan and Europe. However, production continues to be concentrated in Europe, with seven of the world’s largest essential oil processing firms.

In the United States, the major users of essential oils are the soft drink companies. Japan accounts for 10 % of the world demand. The Canadian market is dominated by the United States perfume and flavoring industry.